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Talking Genes in Breast and Pancreatic Malignancies

Mary Barbara, Adrianne Tsen, Laura Tenner, Laura Rosenkranz*.


Introduction: Both breast and pancreatic cancers have high mortality rates. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in females, while pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the fourth most common cause of cancer death. Almost 4-16 % of individuals with pancreatic cancer have a family history of the disease. Intra-ductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) are cystic lesions that received more attention lately due to their associations with PDAC and other solid organ tumors, such as breast cancer. Aim: The purpose of this article is to discuss the association of the familiar pancreatic cancer (FPC), sporadic pancreatic cancer, and IPMNs with the breast cancer. Results: Mutations in BRCA2, BRCA1, p16 and PALB2 play a major role in the genetic etiologies of familial pancreatic cancer. In familial and sporadic pancreatic cancers, mutations in BRCA2 are associated with a high incidence of PDAC, while mutations in BRCA1have shown inconsistent results. Data is insufficient to prove an association between IPMNs and breast cancer. Conclusion: The familial clustering of PDAC is not well understood. Further studies are required for greater comprehension of the genetic basis of PDAC and the association between IPMNs and breast cancer.

Key words: Breast cancer, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), IPMNs, BRCA1, BRCA2

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